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Rowena Tomaneng

Adjunct Professor


Professor Rowena M. Tomaneng has been a multicultural educator in the California Community Colleges for over 25 years. Her leadership, teaching, service, and research are guided by social justice and equity frameworks. She is currently the president of San José City College in the San José-Evergreen Community College District. Prior to SJCC, she served as the president of Berkeley City College where she launched the Berkeley Promise — a citywide partnership between civic, community-based, educational, and industry organizations to close the racial opportunity gap for low-income BIPOC students.

Professor Tomaneng serves on the boards of the Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges (CEOCCC) and Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education (APAHE). Beyond academia, she served as a community organizer for Filipino Community Support-Silicon Valley and the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns-USA. She was also a founding member of the Critical Filipino Filipina Studies Collective (CFFSC).


  • International and Multicultural Education
  • Human Rights Education
  • Feminist Theory
  • Postcolonial Theory
  • Multicultural Literary Studies

Research Areas

  • Gender and Globalization
  • Social Movements and Transnational Activism
  • Academic Experiences of Minoritized Students in the California Community Colleges


  • Co-Chair, California Community College CEO Racial Equity and Inclusive Excellence Taskforce
  • Vice President, Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education (APAHE)
  • Member, Campus Compact (California) Advisory Board
  • Member, Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges Board
  • Member, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Commissioner for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)


  • USF, EdD in Education, Human Rights Education Concentration, 2017
  • UC Santa Barbara, MA in English, 1995
  • UC Irvine, BA in English, 1992

Prior Experience

  • President, San Jose City College
  • President, Berkeley City College
  • Associate Vice President of Instruction, De Anza College
  • Director, Institute of Community and Civic Engagement, De Anza College
  • Professor in English, Intercultural Studies, and Womens' Studies, De Anza College

Awards & Distinctions

  • Woman of the Year, Assembly District 15-Buffy Wicks, 2019
  • Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education (APAHE) Presidents’ Award, 2017
  • University of California, Davis Wheelhouse Institute Presidential Fellow, 2017
  • Oakland Digital Arts and Literacy Center Inspiration Award, 2016
  • Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute (APALI) Pacesetter Award, 2016

Selected Publications

  • Contributor for Transformative Practices for Minority Student Success: Accomplishments of Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. Dr. Timothy Fong & Dr. Dina Maramba, Eds. (2020). Article with Dr. Mae Lee on Power in Partnerships: Racial Politics in Reciprocity and Transformation at an AANAPISI.
  • Contributor for Scholarship of AANAPISIs. Dr. Bach Mai Nguyen and Dr. Thai-Huy Nguyen, Eds. (2019). Article with Rose Ann E. Gutiérrez on We are the Sea, We are the Ocean, Oceania is Us: Cultivating a Sense of Belonging through Curriculum and Pedagogy at an AANAPISI.
  • Contributor for Overcoming Educational Racism in the Community College, Dr. Angela Long, Ed. (2016). Article with Dr. Brian Murphy on Asian American Student Populations: Voice of National School Leader with Best Practices.
  • Promising Practices in Human Rights Education and Peacebuilding (October 2015), Multicultural Perspectives. 17(4), 239-243.
  • Recovering Kapwa: Filipino American Postcolonial Psychology as Decolonizing Praxis (August 2015), Multicultural Perspectives, 17(4), 164 – 169.